Doctors perform first double lung transplant, 195 arrested in human trafficking sweep

Doctors perform first double lung transplant on COVID-19 patient in Canada

Doctors in Canada have successfully completed the country's first double lung transplant for a man whose lungs were damaged by COVID-19.

61-year-old Tim Sauve became ill in December with the virus when he noticed himself getting dizzy. Within days he was in the hospital, unable to breathe. He was then transferred to the intensive care unit at Toronto General Hospital the next month. He was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (lung failure), caused by COVID-19.

While Sauve's other organs were not failing, it became unlikely that his lungs would recover from the illness. Doctors then offered him a chance at survival with the double lung transplant.

In mid-February, Sauve became the first COVID-19 patient in Canada to receive a double lung transplant.

Sauve said about the transplant: “It’s an opportunity for me to tell people, don’t take your guard down for one minute. It is so powerful, and it’s so quick. It’s unbelievable. I don’t wish this upon anyone ever.”

195 arrested in vast international human trafficking sweep

195 people have been arrested and nearly 500 victims have been rescued in Operation Weka, a vast international human trafficking sweep led by the international organisation Interpol.

Operation Weka, which means “Stop” in Swahili, was carried out from 28 March to 2 April.

Jurgen Stock, Interpol's Secretary General said about the operation: "These victims could not simply walk away from the horrific from the horrific situation they found themselves in and the suffering they endured. This is why Interpol’s work does not stop here. We will continue to help countries untangle sensitive and complex cases, which, will undoubtedly generate more arrests in the months to come.”

Rhino Numbers on the Rise: 16% increase in Nepal’s rhino numbers

According to the 2021 National Rhino Count, the rhino population of Nepal has grown 16%, with the population standing at 752 individuals compared to the 2015 estimate of 645.

The National Rhino Count in Nepal is undertaken every five years to monitor the animal's status in the wild. The rhino count supports the assessment of management effectiveness in these regions and guides the nation’s rhino conservation strategy.

Ghana Gurung, Country Representative of WWF Nepal said: “The overall growth in population size is indicative of ongoing protection and habitat management efforts by protected area authorities despite challenging contexts these past years. This achievement is yet another milestone in Nepal’s conservation journey showcasing the impact of concerted efforts of all stakeholders and providing much needed impetus to the global conservation fraternity.”

HIV Vaccine Trial Shows 97 Percent Effectiveness in Humans

A Phase 1 human trial into by Scripps Research and IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative), has found a potential vaccine for HIV. The non-profit organisation, based in the US, develops vaccines and antibodies for HIV and other diseases.

The vaccine shows success in stimulating production of rare immune cells that are needed to start the process of generating antibodies against the virus. This response was detected in 97% of individuals who received the vaccine.

The next step in the process are further human clinical trials.

William Schief, Ph.D., a professor and immunologist at Scripps Research and executive director of vaccine design at IAVI's Neutralizing Antibody Center, said in a statement: “This study demonstrates proof of principle for a new vaccine concept for HIV, a concept that could be applied to other pathogens, as well. With our many collaborators on the study team, we showed that vaccines can be designed to stimulate rare immune cells with specific properties, and this targeted stimulation can be very efficient in humans. We believe this approach will be key to making an HIV vaccine and possibly important for making vaccines against other pathogens.”